Canadian province leader ‘infuriated’ Trump blocking medical exports despite 9/11 help

Canadian leaders are criticizing President Trump’s ban on exports of N95 masks to the neighboring country.

One province leader said he’s “infuriated” with the decision, especially in light of Canada’s assistance to the U.S. in 2001 by sheltering stranded U.S. passengers after the 9/11 attacks. 

“To say that I’m infuriated by the recent actions of President Trump of the United States is an understatement,” Newfoundland Premier Dwight Ball told The Associated Press. “I cannot believe for a second that in a time of crisis that President Trump would even think about banning key medical supplies to Canada.”

Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on Friday to prevent the export of surgical masks and gloves outside the country. 

Ball noted that Canada helped cater to the more than 6,600 passengers in 2001 that descended on the 10,000-person town of Gander in Newfoundland. 

Gander’s hotels were filled with flight crews, and passengers were taken to schools, fire stations and church halls. The Canadian military flew with 5,000 cots and stores and locals donated goods, according to the AP. 

“Newfoundland and Labrador will never give up on humanity. We will not hesitate for one second if we had to repeat what we did on 9/11. We would do it again,” Ball said.

“This is a time when we need to work together to continue to protect our residents and keep them safe from COVID-19 no matter where they live or what passport they hold.”

Similarly, former Gander Mayor Claude Elliot said he’s disappointed with the export ban. 

“I understand the United States is going through a very dramatic time, especially in New York, and they need a lot of supplies, but we’re fighting an enemy that is just not one state, it’s the whole world,″ Elliott told the newswire. “And when we come to those times of tragedy in our life, we need everybody helping each other.”

Ball and Elliot are not the only Canadian officials to express disappointment in the Trump administration’s decision. 

“It’s like one of your family members [says], ‘OK, you go starve and we’ll go feast on the rest of the meal.’ I’m just so disappointed right now,” conservative Ontario Premier Doug Ford said, according to the AP. “We have a great relationship with the U.S. and they pull these shenanigans? Unacceptable.”

Another conservative Canadian lawmaker, Albert Premier Jason Kenney, likened it to the U.S. actions at the start of WWII. 

“The United States sat out the first two or three years and actually initially refused to even provide supplies to Canada and the United Kingdom that was leading the fight at the time,” he said, according to the newswire. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sunday he’s confident Canada will still be able to import N95 masks from the U.S. and said he will be speaking with Trump in the coming days, the AP reported.

Trudeau had previously said Canada will not bring retaliatory measures against the U.S.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Justin Trudeau

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